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A brief background

Since AirAsia introduced its low fare, no frills concept in December 2001, the airline now flies to over 40 destinations in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Macau, China, Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar, formed 2 successful joint ventures in Thailand through Thai AirAsia, and Indonesia through AWAIR, expanded its fleet from the original two to twenty eight, and revolutionised air travel in these countries by offering incredibly low fares through its innovative sales channels. To date the AirAsia group, has carried over 23 million guests.

Established in 1993 and started operations on 18 November 1996, AirAsia was originally founded by a governmentowned conglomerate DRB-Hicom. On December 2, 2001, Tony Fernandes, former Time Warner executive bought the heavily indebted airline through his company Tune Air Sdn Bhd for the token sum of one Malaysian ringgit, or 27 US cents. Fernandes proceeded to engineer a remarkable turnaround, turning a profit in 2002 and launching new routes from its hub in Kuala Lumpur International  Airport at breakneck speed, undercutting former monopoly operator Malaysia Airlines with promotional fares as low as US$0.27. In 2003, AirAsia opened a
second hub at Senai Airport in JohorBahru near Singapore and launched its first international flights to Bangkok. AirAsia has since started a Thai subsidiary, added Singapore itself to th  destination list, and commenced flights to Indonesia. Other regional flights followed. A new budget terminal, the first of its kind in Asia was opened in Kuala Lumpur International Airport in March 2006. Built at a cost of US$29.2 million and spanning some 35,000 square metres (116,000 square feet), the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) is the new home for AirAsia Bhd. LCCT will initially handle 10 million passengers a year.

AirAsia Group is expected to carry 18 million passengers in 2007. AirAsia operates with the world’s lowest unit cost of US$0.023/ASK and a passenger break-even load factor of 52%. It has hedged 100% of its fuel requirements for the next three years, achieves an aircraft turnaround time of 25 minutes, has a crew productivity level that is triple that of Malaysia Airlines and achieves an average aircraft utilisation rate of 13 hours a day.

Major Shareholders

As of 29 September 2006, about 38% of the total share capital was owned by TuneAir Sdn Bhd. AirAsia is a substantially owner managed company, the cumulative ownership by the board of directors constitutes approximately 45% of the share capital.

As of 15 November, 2006, about 45.61% of the total share capital was owned by foreign investors. Of the local shareholding, more than one third are confirmed bumiputra shareholders - the exact amount of bumiputra shareholders has not been quantified yet. Most of the shares owned by foreign investors are registered through trustees, so that the actual shareholders are not officially registered.

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